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Intel expands storage system line

Intel has released a hardware-only version of its Storage System platform it hopes will attract system builders and integrators looking to assemble custom solutions.

“Its a very flexible platform, one that’s made for the channel because it’s customizable,” said David Allen, Intel’s Toronto-based distribution sales manager for North America.

The $3,129 SSR212CC is powered by a single low-voltage Xeon 2.8 Ghz processor in a 2U chassis that holds up to 6TB of storage in 12 hot-swapable 500 GB SATA hard drives. System memory can be expanded up to 12GB.

It also supports hardware-based RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 10 and 50.

The chassis, from Xyratex Ltd., includes three dual rotors and two single rotor 40 mm hot-swappable redundant system fans for cooling.

Unlike other models in the line, it doesn’t include software, leaving partners the freedom to create a storage attached network (SAN) or network attached storage (NAS) appliance, a tape library solutions, or configure it into a database or e-mail server.

“We see it as a great mid-range product that fits into a niche we don’t have something for,” said David Fowler, Intel product manager for Open Source Systems of Toronto, a national integrator which specializes in storage.

What will be appealing to customers is the amount of storage the SSR212CC brings in only a 2U space, he said. “It also allows us to add our own software so we can differentiate ourselves from competitors,” he added.

Other models in the line range from four-bay units for homes or small businesses to the SSR212MA, which is almost identical to the SSR212CC but comes with software and is aimed at medium-to-large organizations.

“These solutions are really aimed at the channel,” said Allen, “that offer things built on Intel technology, Intel quality, and now they have these solutions to offer that don’t have complexity that you often get into when you get into that mid-range-and-above storage solutions. We’re not trying to play there.”

Intel is targeting the $1,000-to-$3,000 (U.S) storage market, he said.

The SSR212CC has been approved for Microsoft Windows Server 2003 standard and enterprise editions, Storage Server 2003 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, and software management applications from FalconStor, BSquare and Terrascale Technologies.

It comes with dual 1Gb Ethernet Network Interface Connections to link to iSCSI or network attached data.

All Intel Storage Systems are available through Ingram Micro Canada, Tech Data Canada, Synnex Canada and ASI Canada.